Is it…: or, Is there any thing lighter than to commit
And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month
, in the fifth day
of the month, as
I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD
fell there upon me.
Here begins a section of prophecy extending to the twelfth
chapter. In this chapter the prophet is carried in vision to
and there shown the idolatries committed by the rulers of the
Jews, even within the temple. In the beginning of this vision,
by the noblest stretch of an inspired imagination, idolatry
itself is personified, and made an idol; and the image
sublimely called, from the provocation it gave God, the
IMAGE OF JEALOUSY, 5.
The prophet then proceeds to describe the three principal
superstitions of this unhappy people: the Egyptian, 6-12,
the Phoenician, 13, 14,
and the Persian, 15, 16;
giving the striking features of each, and concluding with a
declaration of the heinousness of their sins in the sight of
God, and the consequent greatness of their punishment, 17, 18.
NOTES ON CHAP. VIII
Verse 1. In the sixth year, in the sixth
month, in the fifth
day of the month
] This, according to Abp. Usher
, was the sixth
of Ezekiel's captivity. The sixth
day of the fifth
month of the ecclesiastical year
, which answers to August A.M. 3410.
This chapter and the three
following contain but one vision
which I judge it necessary, with Calmet
, to give a general idea,
that the attention of the reader may not be too much divided.
The prophet, in the visions of God, is carried to Jerusalem, to
the northern gate of the temple, which leads by the north side to
the court of the priests. There he sees the glory of the Lord in
the same manner as he did by the river Chebar. At one side he sees
the image of jealousy
. Going thence to the court of the people, he
sees through an opening in the wall seventy
elders of the people,
who were worshipping all sorts of beasts and reptiles, which were
painted on the wall. Being brought thence to the gate of the door
of the house, he saw women weeping for Tammuz
. As he
returned to the court of the priests, between the porch and the
altar, he saw twenty-five
men with their backs to the sanctuary
and their faces towards the east, worshipping the rising sun
is the substance of the vision contained in the eighth
About the same time he saw six men
come from the higher gate
in their hands; and among them, one with an ink-horn
Then the Divine Presence left the cherubim, and took post at the
entrance of the temple, and gave orders to the man with the ink-horn
to put a mark
on the foreheads of those who sighed and
prayed because of the abominations of the land; and then commanded
the men with the swords
to go forward, and slay every person who
had not this mark. The prophet, being left alone among the dead,
fell on his face, and made intercession for the people. The Lord
gives him the reason of his conduct; and the man with the ink-horn
returns, and reports to the Lord what was done. These are the
general contents of the ninth
The Lord commands the same person to go in between the wheels
the cherubim, and take his hand full of live coals, and scatter
them over the city. He went as commanded, and one of the cherubim
gave him the coals; at the same time the glory of the Lord, that
had removed to the threshold of the house, now returned, and stood
over the cherubim. The cherubim, wheels, wings, &c., are here
described as in the first
chapter. This is the substance of the tenth
The prophet then finds himself transported to the east gate of
the temple, where he saw twenty-five
men, and among them Jaazaniah
the son of Azur, and Pelatiah
the son of Benaiah, princes of the
people, against whom the Lord commands him to prophesy, and to
threaten them with the utmost calamities, because of their crimes.
Afterwards God himself speaks, and shows that the Jews who should
be left in the land should be driven out because of their
iniquities, and that those who had been led captive, and who
acknowledged their sins and repented of them, should be restored
to their own land. Then the glory of the Lord arose out of the
city, and rested for a time on one of the mountains on the east of
Jerusalem, and the prophet being carried in vision by the Spirit
to Chaldea, lost sight of the chariot of the Divine glory, and
began to show to the captivity what the Lord had shown to him.
This is the substance of the eleventh
We may see from all this what induced the Lord to abandon his
people, his city, and his temple; the abominations of the people
in public and in private. But because those carried away captives
with Jeconiah acknowledged their sins, and their hearts turned to
the Lord, God informs them that they shall be brought back and
restored to a happy state both in temporal and spiritual matters,
while the others, who had filled up the measure of their
iniquities, should be speedily brought into a state of desolation
and ruin. This is the sum and intent of the vision in these four
Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.
他伸出一只形状像手的东西，抓住我的一绺头发；灵就把我提到天地之间，在 神的异象中，他把我带往耶路撒冷，到圣殿北门内院的入口处，在那里有令 神愤恨的偶像的座位。
And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was
the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.
Verse 3. The image of jealousy
] semel hakkinah
do not know certainly of what form
this image was, nor what god
represented. Some say it was the image of Baal, which was placed
in the temple by Manasses; others, that it was the image of Mars
and others, that it was the image of Tammuz
supports this opinion by the following reasons:-1. The name
perfectly with him. He was represented as a beautiful youth,
beloved by Venus; at which Mars, her paramour, being incensed and
filled with jealousy
, sent a large boar against Adonis, which
killed him with his tusks. Hence it was the image of him who fell
a victim to jealousy
. 2. The prophet being returned towards the
northern gate, where he had seen the image of jealousy
, Eze 8:14
there saw the women lamenting for Tammuz
. Now Tammuz
, all agree,
; it was that therefore which was called the image of jealousy
. 3. The Scripture often gives to the heathen idols
names of degradation; as Baal-zebub, god of flies
; Baal-zebul; god of dung
. It is likely that it was Adonis
who is called The dead
, Le 19:27, 28
; De 14:9
, because he was worshipped as one dead
. And the women represented as worshipping him were probably adulteresses
, and had suffered through the jealousy
husbands. And this worship of the image of jealousy provoked God to jealousy
, to destroy this bad people.
And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was
there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
¶ Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even
the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and
thou shalt see greater abominations.
¶ And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.
Verse 7. A hole in the wall.
] This we find was not large enough
to see what was doing within; and the prophet is directed to dig,
and make it larger, Eze 8:8
; and when he had done so and entered,
Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.
And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.
Verse 10. And saw-every form of creeping things
] It is very
likely that these images pourtrayed on the wall were the objects
of Egyptian adoration: the ox
, the ape
, the dog
, the crocodile,
, the scarabaeus
, and various other things. It
appears that these were privately worshipped by the sanhedrin or
great Jewish council, consisting of seventy
chosen out of every tribe, as representatives of the
people. The images were pourtrayed upon the wall, as we find those
ancient idols are on the walls of the tombs of the kings and nobles of Egypt
. See the plates to Belzoni's
Travels, the Isaic Tomb
in the Bodleian Library, and the Egyptian hieroglyphics
speaks of these, AEn
. lib. viii.:-
Omnigenumque Deum monstra, et latrator Anubis.
"All kinds of gods, monsters, and barking dogs."
And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
Verse 11. Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan
] Shaphan was a scribe, or
what some call comptroller of the temple, in the days of Josiah;
his son probably succeeded him in this office. He
was at the head of this band of idolaters.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD
seeth us not; the LORD
hath forsaken the earth.
¶ He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and
thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.
Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S
house which was
toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
Verse 14. There sat women weeping for Tammuz.
] This was Adonis
as we have already seen; and so the Vulgate here translates. My
old MS. Bible reads, There saten women, mornynge a mawmete of lecherye that is cleped Adonydes
. He is fabled to have been a
beautiful youth beloved by Venus, and killed by a wild boar in
Mount Lebanon, whence springs the river Adonis
, which was fabled
to run blood
at his festival in August. The women of Phoenicia,
Assyria, and Judea worshipped him as dead
, with deep lamentation,
and other obscene images all the while, and they
prostituted themselves in honour of this idol. Having for some
time mourned him as dead
, they then supposed him revivified and
broke out into the most extravagant rejoicings. Of the appearance
of the river at this season, Mr. Maundrell
thus speaks: "We had
the good fortune to see what is the foundation of the opinion
relates, viz., that this stream at certain seasons of
the year, especially about the feast of Adonis, is of a bloody colour
, proceeding from a kind of sympathy, as the heathens
imagined, for the death of Adonis, who was killed by a wild boar
in the mountain out of which this stream issues. Something like
this we saw actually come to pass, for the water was stained to a
surprising redness; and, as we observed in travelling, had stained
the sea a great way into a reddish hue." This was no doubt
occasioned by a red ochre, over which the river ran with violence
at this time of its increase. Milton
works all this up in these
"Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate,
In amorous ditties all a summer's day;
While smooth Adonis, from his native rock,
Ran purple to the sea, suffused with blood
Of Thammuz, yearly wounded. The love tale
Infected Sion's daughters with like heat:
Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch
Ezekiel saw, when by the vision led,
His eye surveyed the dark idolatries
Of alienated Judah."
Par. Lost, b. i. 446.
, and hence the worship of
his image was in some secret place
¶ Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this
, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and
thou shalt see greater abominations than these.
And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S
house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD
, between the porch and the altar, were
about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD
, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
Verse 16. Five and twenty men
] These most probably represented
the twenty-four courses
of the priests
, with the high priest
. This was the Persian
worship, as their turning
their faces to the east plainly shows they were worshipping the rising sun
¶ Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this
, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.a
Verse 17. They put the branch to their nose.
] This is supposed
to mean some branch or branches, which they carried in succession
in honour of the idol, and with which they covered their faces, or
from which they inhaled a pleasant smell, the branches being
odoriferous. That the heathens carried branches of trees in their
sacred ceremonies is well known to all persons acquainted with
classic antiquity; and it is probable that the heathen borrowed
those from the use of such branches in the Jewish feast of
tabernacles. There are many strange, and some filthy,
interpretations given of this clause; but the former are not worth
repeating, and I abominate the latter too much to submit to defile
my paper with them. Probably the Brahminic Linga
is here intended.
It really seems that at this time the Jews had incorporated
every species of idolatry in their impure worship,-Phoenician, Egyptian
, and Persian
. I might add that some imagine the image of jealousy
to be a personification of idolatry
Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet
will I not hear them.